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Longtime LISC partner Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association has a storied history in the revival of the South Bronx. Today, the organization uses new tactics, as well as tried and true ones, to foster community and preserve affordable housing in a vastly changed social and economic landscape. Read the story here!
Pictured above: South Bronx resident Sajata Epps tends herbs at the Kelly Street Garden, a project of Banana Kelly.
On October 11th, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced grant awards totaling $12.6 million to help communities across the state address the problem of vacant properties and so-called “zombie homes” – vacant and abandoned homes that are not maintained during a prolonged foreclosure proceeding. $350K will be allocated to the New York City through the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD). The grants were awarded under the Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative, which LISC is overseeing through its New York State Housing Stabilization Fund program. LISC selected the grantees and will be providing technical assistance to the funded municipalities as they implement their plans. “We are grateful for this grant, which allows HPD to increase direct outreach to families in foreclosure and also develop individual and targeted plans to secure ‘zombie properties,’ or abandoned homes — many of which are not being properly maintained, are creating blight and hurting our neighborhoods,” said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been. “Bottom line, the funds help us continue to stabilize affordable homeownership in many neighborhoods still recovering from the mortgage crisis.” Read the press release and the NY Daily News story!
On September 19th, LISC NYC, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and NYU Furman Center hosted a Convening about Neighborhood Change, Displacement, & Equitable Development. The event drew over 200 participants, as well as 600 Livestream views. Visit the website to view photos and video recordings of the entire event. For a round-up of the conversation, view the Storify narrative and the City Limits article.
LISC NYC is pleased to announce the launch of the New York Land Opportunity Program (NYLOP), which we are piloting in partnership with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit. This program will help mission-driven organizations with limited real estate experience to form joint venture partnerships to develop affordable housing on their underutilized land. Please help us spread the word about NYLOP to faith-based organizations, social service nonprofits, owners of HUD 202 senior housing and other mission-driven organizations with underutilized land who might benefit from this program. Learn more during one of our upcoming technical assistance workshops. Our first technical assistance workshop is in Brooklyn on Tuesday, October 25 and our second workshop is in Manhattan on November 10. For further information, please contact Grace Chung at email@example.com.
In an op-ed for USA Today, Maurice Jones, LISC CEO, and Jim Bueermann, Police Foundation President and former police chief, explain how investing in authentic police-community partnerships and neighborhood renewal is imperative for a safer, healthier country. Also be sure to check out Maurice Jones’ response to a New York Times article about reductions in the US poverty rate and his reflections from his first month at LISC.
On September 22, LISC New York City joined nonprofit developer Acacia Network, Inc. and other partners to celebrate the groundbreaking of Acacia Gardens, a mixed-use, 12-story building in East Harlem with 179 units of affordable housing for low-income, extremely low-income, and formerly homeless households. The total development cost for Acacia Gardens is $73 million. LISC NYC provided technical assistance for structuring the financing. Read the story!
On August 4th, The Equity Project Charter School (TEP) closed on the financing required to construct a new $37 million middle school facility at 153 Sherman Avenue, less than a mile from TEP’s current trailers. The financing for the project was made possible through $12.27 million in New Markets Tax Credits allocations from LISC ($3.7 million), The Community Builders ($7 million), and Capital One ($2 million), a $17.25 million loan from Deutsche Bank’s Community Development Finance Group and LISC, and a $2.7 million bridge loan from LISC and Building Hope. Capital One is providing $4.3 million in NMTC equity. Read the story!
On Wednesday, August 3rd, LISC New York City and other partners joined The Bridge for the groundbreaking ceremony for Melrose Commons Supportive Housing, a 58-unit residential development serving veterans that will be built at 425 East 161st Street in the South Bronx. The total development cost of the project is approximately $25.2 million. LISC affiliate NEF syndicated $10.87 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) for the project, and both LISC NYC and NEF provided pre-development funding via the Bring Them HOMES veterans initiative. The development site is part of the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area, which is the last major urban renewal site in the Bronx. Read the story!
Every summer, the New York City LISC Cashin Fellows program gives college and high school students the opportunity to gain valuable career experience in community development. Each Fellow is paired with a local community-based organization and becomes deeply involved in a wide variety of activities that include affordable housing development, community organizing, access to healthy foods, and economic development. On July 20th, the 2016 Cashin Fellows joined LISC New York City, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, and Bridge Street Development Corporation on a tour through Bedford-Stuyvesant, the neighborhood that served as the birthplace of community development. Read the story!
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